Thursday, February 19, 2015

#14: Sweet Water - Christina Baker Kline

When a grandfather she never knew bequeaths her a house and 60 acres of land in Sweetwater, Tenn., a restless young artist leaves New York to recover her past and rethink her future. Cassie Simon's mother Ellen died when Cassie was only three; raised in Boston by her grieving father, she never knew her maternal relatives. Unprepared for the thick veil of mystery that surrounds them, Cassie is especially bewildered by her brusque grandmother, whom rumor credits with hiding a terrible secret about Ellen's death. In alternating sections told from their respective points of view, Cassie and her grandmother fight their separate battles to cope with the truth about the tragedy. Kline perfectly renders each woman's voice: Cassie's, probing and often uncertain, propels the narrative and creates an appropriate level of psychological suspense; the grandmother's quavers with the weight of memory as Cassie's search forces her beyond family myth to a painful and perhaps dangerous truth. The result is a powerful, immensely readable tale of loyalty and betrayal, family and memory, made fresh by Kline's often beautiful and always lucid prose. 

  • Kindle: 628 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (November 9, 2010)
  • ASIN: B003P2W1JI



Christina Baker Kline was born in Cambridge, England, and raised there as well as in the American South and Maine. She is the author of five novels: Orphan Train, Bird in Hand, The Way Life Should Be, Desire Lines, and Sweet Water. She is co-editor, with Anne Burt, of About Face: Women Write about What They See When They Look in the Mirror and co-author, with Christina L. Baker, of The Conversation Begins: Mothers and Daughters Talk about Living Feminism. She has edited three other anthologies: Child of Mine, Room to Grow, and Always Too Soon. Writer-in-Residence at Fordham University from 2007 to 2011, Kline has also taught literature and creative writing at Yale, NYU, UVA, and Drew University. A graduate of Yale, Cambridge University, and the University of Virginia, where she was a Hoyns Fellow in Fiction Writing, Kline is a recipient of a Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Fellowship and several research fellowships, and has been a Writer-in-Residence at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. Kline lives with husband and three sons in Montclair, New Jersey. She is at work on another novel and an anthology.


REVIEW:
A page turner!
What a wonderful debut novel, not what I expected at all. Usually contemporary stories are not as suspenseful as this one is. For my introduction to this author, I am thoroughly impressed! The flow of the story is told from two points of view. One is current and one is more of a vignette. I love how they came together and meshed well at the end.
The story itself was amazing. Having family drama is a part of life often, and this story was another brilliant look at family dynamics and secrets. 
Lots of people will definitely love the writing and I highly recommend it if you haven't read it already.

4/5


**No compensation was received for posting. Compensation will be earned if purchases are made from the links within. This ecopy was obtained for free on Kindle. Opinions are owned by this site.

4 comments:

  1. I've been waiting for your review. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one as I've added it to one of my reading challenges.
    I didn't read a lot of contemporary literature before I discovered Bette Lee Crosby's books. Now, I'm always on the lookout for new authors. Thanks for sharing your review, Freda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is also classified as Southern Fiction too. I still like it. :-) Hope you enjoy it too! Happy reading!

      Delete

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